UFC president Dana White has questioned the motivation of Conor McGregor to return to the octagon and admitted that the lightweight champion ‘might never fight again.’
McGregor has not fought in the UFC for over a year and has yet to defend the lightweight title he won against Eddie Alvarez in November 2016.
The last time the Dubliner stepped in the ring it was to take on unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr earlier this year in a boxing bout, for which he earned a reported $100million.
White admitted that McGregor’s payday against Mayweather may have removed his desire to fight again in MMA.
"Conor might never fight again," White said. "He made $100million. I’ve got guys who made less than that who are lawyers and went to school their whole lives and quit working.
"When you go to school your whole life to be a lawyer, and you’re a good lawyer, and you make a few bucks and you’re done? The guys sitting home every day watching cartoons or whatever he’s doing. I don’t know.
"These guys make money and that’s it. Fighting is the worst - try to get up and get punched in the face every day when you have $100 million in the bank. Money changes everything with a lot of people.
"If Conor wants to fight again, absolutely we want Conor to come fight," he added. "But if Conor walks away and doesn’t ever want to fight again, it’s part of the game."
McGregor had been tentatively slated to fight at UFC 219 in Las Vegas at the end of December but an incident where the Dubliner entered the octagon and confronted the referee at a Bellator event at the 3 Arena in Dublin, ruled him out of the Vegas showcase.
One man who wants to see McGregor defend the lightweight title is Jose Aldo, who insists that the UFC must make him fight or strip him of the title.
Aldo who was famously knocked out by McGregor inside of 13 seconds at UFC 194, claims that McGregor is blocking the lightweight division by not defending his title and that if he won’t return, the belt should be stripped from him.
"The UFC needs to do what has to be done, you take the belt away or make him defend it. I think everyone is waiting for that."
Tony Ferguson won the interim lightweight title at UFC 216 and is the obvious opponent for McGregor should he make a return and that’s a fight that Aldo wants to see.
"He has to defend it, has to put his belt on the line in order to become champion. He only won the title. For me, Ferguson has great possibilities of becoming champion in the future."